Gartner Research

How to Size and Estimate Applications in a Bimodal World

Published: 10 March 2017

ID: G00308855

Analyst(s): Mike Gilpin , Matthew Hotle


In many firms, the work of sizing and estimating software delivery is a dysfunctional game. Application leaders can avoid this dysfunction by adopting better sizing and estimating practices. As enterprise agile becomes more common, firms must employ different practices for different styles of work.

Table Of Contents


  • Playing the Estimating Game
    • Myth 1. The Initial Estimate Is the "Right" Estimate
    • Myth 2. We Can Negotiate Estimates
    • Myth 3. Estimates From Inaccurate Data Will Prove Accurate
  • How You Should Play the Estimating Game
    • Functional Estimates
    • Task or Deliverable-Based Estimating
    • Experience-Based Estimating
    • Source Lines of Code (SLOC)-Based Estimating
  • How to Excel at the Estimating Game
    • 1. Use Multiple Techniques to Size or Estimate the Work
    • 2. Estimate Several Times During the Project, or Product Life Cycle
    • 3. Use the Delivery Team to Size the Work Whenever Possible

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